A New Way of looking at Metal Additive Manufacturing Processes

A New Way of looking at Metal Additive Manufacturing Processes

Aerospace and Defense, Digital Manufacturing, Industry News, Intellectual Property

2/28/17 – Our friends over at Moog are making some great progress with Metal Additive Manufacturing. Moog’s Additive Manufacturing Center (AMC) in East Aurora is paving the way to defining the new digital supply chain.

 

By: George Small |  
George is a Principal Engineer at Moog Inc., working in the Space and Defense Group at Moog’s East Aurora, NY location.

ENTER ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING

Our first forays into additive manufacturing (AM) go back over 15 years.  With our background in manufacturing of complex parts, we could easily see the value of direct digital fabrication.  Printing of polymer parts for fit checks, prototypes and tooling became commonplace at Moog.  But the real target for us was metal additive parts.  Powder bed laser technology looked to be the most mature and suitable for our typical Moog applications.  But results of our early trials were disappointing to say the least.  Delamination between layers was common, porosity abundant, and material properties lacking.  Every few years we would try a few more parts at outside service vendors with comparable results.  The technology did not seem ready for our demanding applications.

About 5 years ago things started improving on the AM front.  Quality of AM parts was rapidly getting better as machines matured and became readily available.  In 2013 a grass roots cross-Moog initiative grew into a Moog Additive Manufacturing Center (AMC), located at our company’s East Aurora, NY headquarters. We have two Renishaw AM250 machines dedicated to research in support of our 5 element AMC charter:

  • Gain Material Understanding
  • Establish and Capture Process Knowledge
  • Make Parts
  • Communicate and Educate
  • Understand the Broader Business Impacts (now and in the future)

To date we have produced over 6000 parts out of our Moog AMC, the research work continues.

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